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There is a story behind this recipe. On a recent episode of the Harvesting Nature Wild Fish and Game Podcast (episode 418) Justin and I came up with a recipe on the fly. Scrolling through Instagram, the first wild game he encountered was goose, so we collaborated on a brand new goose recipe in real time, tossing ideas back and forth and writing it all down so we could cook it later.
We chose goose legs since many don’t know just how good the legs can be, and decided to do a simple braise on them so that anyone could easily follow this recipe without needing fancy tools like sous vide machines, pressure cookers, or smokers.
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We bandied ideas back and forth until a workable recipe coalesced and that is what you have before you. The recipe definitely has a German flair to it, so using a German-style beer will work best. One of Justin’s suggestions, ground fennel with the cabbage, was a pairing I wasn’t very sure about but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the flavors worked together. The man knows his stuff!
I was very happy with how it turned out, and I’m excited to share it with you. I made the recipe for two as I only had two goose legs available, but feel free to double the recipe to make it for four. Goose can vary in age, and therefore in toughness, so you may have to braise the legs longer than I did to achieve tenderness. If using duck legs, you can reduce the cooking time significantly.
Beer Braised Goose Legs on Egg Noodles with Red CabbageCourse: Wild Recipes
- For the Goose
2 goose legs, skin on or off
2 tablespoons duck fat or vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper
6 whole cloves ground, or ½ teaspoon ground cloves
16oz (473ml) can of beer (märzen, bock, lager)
1 teaspoon butter
- For the Noodles
6oz German style egg noodles
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- For the Cabbage
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 tablespoon white wine or cider vinegar
- Season the goose legs generously on both sides with salt. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight.
- Melt the duck fat in a deep skillet over high heat. Add the goose legs and sear until golden on both sides, 5-8 minutes.
- Remove the legs and set aside. Reduce heat to medium high and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until slightly browned, 5-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, a pinch of salt, pepper, and the cloves. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the can of beer, then fill the can up with water and add that as well. Scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Nestle the goose legs back into the veggies and liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce to a soft simmer and cover. Cook for 1.5 hours. Check for tenderness. If the goose legs still feel tough, cook for another 30 minutes and repeat.
- Uncover the skillet and bring to a strong simmer. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until much of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the goose legs and set aside. Use a hand blender to liquify the sauce, or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the teaspoon of butter, stirring it in until it melts.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to the boil with a big pinch of salt. Add the noodles and cook as per package directions. Drain, then toss the noodles with the butter and parsley.
- For the cabbage: melt the butter in a second skillet over medium high heat. Add the sliced cabbage, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the fennel seeds. Cook, stirring, until cabbage is tender, but still crisp, about 3 minutes. Take off of the heat, then toss in the vinegar.
- Optional: Crisp up the goose legs under the broiler for 5 minutes.
- To serve, spoon the noodles into a bowl or onto a plate. Top with a goose leg and spoon over a generous amount of sauce. Add the cabbage on the side and sprinkle everything with chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!